Should I avoid providing water on my property because I’m concerned about the potential of encouraging the biting flies that spread EHD?

By Grant Woods,

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← Grant's AnswersDeer Biology
Hi Grant and the growing deer team,

I am a big fan and appreciate your work in the whitetail community, I watch your videos every week. I own roughly 30 acreas in southwest wisconsin, I have established food plots, bedding habit, a sanctuary, however I am missing water. There isnt any water close in area either so i think it would be good to have, looking at putting a pond in this Spring. However, I have read the qdma article on EHD and it states that the larvae live in sediments at the water’s edge. This creates some concerns for me . I would appreciate your thoughts on this and any strategies to help combat the growth of larvae and any other insects such as mosquitos

Thank you,


Deer are going to water whether at your place or on neighboring properties.  This is especially true during the drought conditions that usually precede an EHD outbreak.  There are lots of theories but I’m unaware of any research results that show how to reduce the percentage of deer that get EHD during an outbreak.  

I suggest you create a pond and realize that when the next EHD outbreak occurs deer will die in your neighborhood.  There are many factors that impact the severity of an EHD outbreak.  However, none can be controlled that I’m aware.

Between EHD outbreaks the water source you create will likely benefit several species of wildlife!

Enjoy creation,


February 11, 2016